(urth) Thea's Identity
dstockhoff at verizon.net
Thu Apr 11 14:33:27 PDT 2013
On 4/11/2013 4:53 PM, Lee Berman wrote:
>> David Stockhoff- ---Hm. I don't find that sufficient. Cloning is associated with
>> a drive toward perfection and stasis, or a return to it. There must be a reason
>> women go around calling each other half-sister but men don't call each other
>> half-brother; troopers are "as akin as brothers"
> Sorry I didn't fully explain what I meant about a literary interpretation. I meant
> to add that I think Wolfe felt he covered what it was like to be a male clone in
> 5HoC so BotNS was more devoted to what it might be like to be a female clone,
> through Thecla (and esp. her dream full of half-naked sister-mother figures)
> (I can understand why this also is insufficient. I am attempting to get into
> Gene Wolfe's head while he wrote, and my interpretations are apt to be highly
OK, I can see that.
>> There must be a reason women go around calling each other half-sister but men don't
>> call each other half-brother; troopers are "as akin as brothers"
> Perhaps we would hear them do so if we were given as intimate a view of them as we
> are of Thecla and Thea? I dunno.
>> And what about the seraglio of noble female hostages the Autarch keeps (as did the
>> Ottoman sultans) even though he can't enjoy them as a castrado? Have they been
>> "repurposed" as well?
> I'm not sure what you are asking here but I'll mention that the Autarch's concubines
> were said to occasionally switch places with their khaibits in the House Azure.
The Ottoman seraglio had a political, legal, and physical purpose---they
were hostages who could be killed if their parents got out of line. And
the sultans pumped them full of, er, genetic material to produce heirs
AND give the nobles a *positive *incentive to send their daughters to
him. So ...
I'm suggesting another, parallel purpose for them that I haven't worked
out but that has to do with cloning technology: a source of stem cells,
forced production of heirs, wombs for (male) clones, etc. Ideally, the
Autarch "adopts" his successor without recourse to sex and without
regard to lineage, but consider that threats to the throne could still
arise in a world of clones. Controlling your nobles' wombs could be
useful. What if an Autarch died without passing on the throne? The
seraglio could at least produce an heir.
There ought to be consequences to cloning technology---impacts on the
seraglio model---that we could work out logically.
>> Was Thecla one of these?
> Given her zest for life and naughty escapades like whipping the ante-chamber residents,
> I would suspect she was.
>> Was Catherine?
> I think the text suggests armigettes like Catherine, Cyriaca and Pelagia have their own
> lower level of cloning, intrigues, naughty secret trysting etc. in parallel to the
> shenanigans found among the exultant women.
Right, I'd forgotten Catherine's status. Hmm.
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